American kickboxing workouts are designed to improve form and accuracy with punches and kicks. American kickboxing was developed as a full-contact sport, matching the typical contact of boxing with the kicking and punching styles of martial arts. When competing, opponents are matched by weight, much as they are in boxing matches. The American kickboxing workout detailed below can also be a great cardiovascular workout, even if not interested in competing or full-contact sparring.
- Warm-up for five to ten minutes, gradually increasing intensity but maintaining steady, controlled breathing. The warm-up can be whatever is enjoyable, or simply mimic classic boxing warm-ups. You can also run or jog, or jump rope, or perform calisthenics such as jumping jacks and push-ups. Follow the warm-up with five minutes of stretching, focusing on the shoulders, chest, back, quads, hamstrings and groin.
- Begin the American kickboxing workout by performing punches in random and varying sequences. Mix in jabs, hooks, upper-cuts and cross punches to develop a pattern that feels good to you. Take care when punching not to lock or hyper-extend the elbow joints. Continue variations of all punches for five to ten minutes.
- After the punching sequence in your American kickboxing workout, start adding kicks in between punches or every few punches. In American kickboxing, the goal is to be unpredictable so the opponent, in a competition, can’t predict the strikes and defend against them. To keep with this pattern, vary the strikes, both punch and kick, in any sequence that feels natural. Perform variations of punches and kicks for another five to ten minutes, this time adding kicks in with the punches.
- Cool down after the American kickboxing sequences by walking or light calisthenics for three to five minutes. The goal is to bring the heart rate down and recover slightly. Breathing should also level out.
- Stretch for three to five minutes after the American kickboxing workout. The muscles should be very warm now and you will notice that your flexibility will appear to have increased compared to the beginning of the workout. Do not over-stretch to the point of pain, but do stretch to a comfortable point. This is the ideal time for increasing flexibility.
- Be sure to hydrate following an American kickboxing workout. Consume lots of water and be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. Well-hydrated muscles recover and respond better, and after sweating in a hard workout your brain will need the water too.